A review of Ground Penetrating Radar application in civil engineering: A 30-year journey from Locating and Testing to Imaging and Diagnosis

Wai Lok Lai, Xavier Dérobert, Peter Annan

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review


The GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) conference in Hong Kong year 2016 marked the 30th anniversary of the initial meeting in Tifton, Georgia, USA on 1986. The conference has been being a bi-annual event and has been hosted by sixteen cities from four continents. Throughout these 30 years, researchers and practitioners witnessed the analog paper printout to digital era that enables very efficient collection, processing and 3D imaging of large amount of data required in GPR imaging in infrastructure. GPR has systematically progressed forward from “Locating and Testing” to “Imaging and Diagnosis” with the Holy Grail of ’Seeing the unseen’ becoming a reality. This paper reviews the latest development of the GPR’s primary infrastructure applications, namely buildings, pavements, bridges, tunnel liners, geotechnical and buried utilities. We review both the ability to assess structure as built character and the ability to indicate the state of deterioration. Finally, we outline the path to a more rigorous development in terms of standardization, accreditation, and procurement policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-78
JournalNDT and E International
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2017


  • Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)

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